You'll be hard pressed to find a more romantic destination than Santorini, be it for your honeymoon or just a short break. The sunsets are as memorable as you'd think, and the rustic hilltop villages are simply postcard perfect. In the middle of it all, you'll find your very own secluded getaway within the serene whitewashed walls of Carpe Diem - a welcome oasis away from the madding crowds of Oia and Fira.
The hotel sits on top of sprawling hills, just below the medieval town of Pyrgos, thus offering possibly the best view of the whole island. On a clear sunny day (of which there are many) you'll see all the way to Oia, at the other end of the croissant-shaped island.
There are only 10 private suites at Carpe Diem, and therein lies its charm, it is all too easy to think you're the only two people on the island. Though the hotel boasts a communal infinity pool, you simply won't want to leave your secluded suite, which comes with its own sun loungers and little pool. No better place to watch the sun rise or set whilst sipping on champagne.
Carpe Diem’s suites are the most private on the island, and boast luxurious touches such as Bang and Olufsen speakers, champagne bars and private butler service. As for the design, it is an homage to traditional Santorini architecture, but with a modern update, courtesy of local engineer George Kopatsaris - his son and daughter now run the hotel.
Expect elemental materials, such as black lava rock, combined with Cycladic minimalism such as whitewashed walls. Calming to say the least. Oh, and if you're a fussy sleeper, you're in luck, you can order any pillow under the sun from the extensive menu. Sweet dreams.
If fine dining is your thing, then you've come to the right place. Sure, Gaia restaurant has a wonderful view, where you can dine under the stars and gaze at the twinkling lights of the towns of Oia, however the food is where it's at. Using local produce (Santorini wine is heavenly), the chefs put a creative twist on traditional dishes.
Before you go
Make sure you visit the spa. As with the rest of the hotel, its aim is to relax. Try the sauna, steam room and finish off in the jacuzzi which emulates the Ying Yang. Or book yourself into one of the treatments inspired by nature, such as the Caldera Hot Stones Massage, using the native volcanic stones of the island.
If all the relaxing gets a bit much (as if), make sure you stroll up to the medieval town of Pyrgos. Much less touristy than the others but just as picturesque, you won't have to elbow anyone out of the way to enjoy the sunset.
How to book
Double rooms at Carpe Diem Boutique Resort in Santorini, start from £250 per night on a B&B basis. Book here.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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